Chavez, Patricia

Kid’s Fitness Education Classes Teaching More Than Just Fitness

martial-arts-303863_960_720West Hempstead, NY— Parents, in need of constructive after school and weekend activities, are turning to sports centers and gyms to add something new to their child’s routine. Parents might notice their kids are behaving a bit differently after a martial arts class.

Classes are popping up across Long Island that teach children about getting fit, but also life skills and self discipline. Popkin-Brogna Jujitsu Center, in West Hempstead, specializes in martial arts training, teaching men, women, and children how to get in shape and defend themselves through jujitsu, kickboxing and other forms of martial arts. Classes such as these promote setting goals, having a clear focus, self-respect, and weight loss.

You may be wondering if martial arts can really have an impact on your child. Steve Cohen, a Sensei at the Popkin-Brogna Jujitsu Center said that “the results I’ve seen (from students) have been outstanding. It makes me so happy and it’s changing their lives for the better”.

Mr. Cohen was happy to tell me about how he’s impacting the lives of his students, but he also commented on the charity work done at his dojo, saying that this past October they raised over $1,000 for breast cancer research. He believes that the dojo is such a positive environment since adults and kids are able to improve on their bodies and minds, bringing a great cause into the picture only boosts the positive energy at his jujitsu classes.

After school activities such as martial arts, basketball, swimming and even golf have been proven to help kids of all ages and skill levels channel their energy into something more constructive. For more information check out the NY Metro Parents website for a list of after-school enrichment programs near you.

Researchers Believe They Can Now Stop the Spread of MRSA

chemistry--density-by-displacementA recent US News article reported that researchers at the University of Southampton believe they have found a way to stop the spread of MRSA. Researchers believe that copper can stop the spread of MRSA through touch.

The Center for Disease Control defines MRSA as “a bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics. In the community, most MRSA infections are skin infections. In medical facilities, MRSA causes life-threatening bloodstream infections, pneumonia and surgical site infections.”  MRSA is common in hospitals, nursing homes and even schools.

George, a certified nurses assistant who works at a Long Island nursing home stated that “MRSA is extremely common from what I have seen. The infection unfortunately can result in other illnesses so a breakthrough like this could potentially save lives. Copper surfaces are already used in a lot of hospitals, but it would definitely be useful in other public places to minimize infection”.

In a press release Dr. Sarah Warnes said that the researchers focused on the spread of the virus between fingertips and surfaces and surfaces that were made of copper killed the bacteria within 15 minutes.

Frequently washing your hands and keeping surfaces clean can help reduce your risk of being infected, for more information on how to properly disinfect take a look at this CDC page.

Using Her Head; Brandi Chastain to Donate Brain for Research

1999 Soccer World Cup winner, Brandi Chastain, has decided to donate her brain to research. She announced on Thursday morning that upon her passing her brain will be researched by the Concussion Legacy Foundation. Her brain will be studied by researchers at the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Program.

Chastain agreed to the donation after stating that she had two concussions during her college soccer career. She said that she never felt any symptoms of the concussions and went right back into the game, she just “shook it off”.

According to USA Today only seven out of the 307 brains that have been donated to the Boston University School of Medicine and VA brain bank have been from females. None of those brains showed signs of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

USA Today quoted Ann McKee who is the director of the Boston University CTE Program as saying this is an important field of study. “We currently know so little about how gender influences outcome after trauma,” she said. “Her pledge marks an important step to expand our knowledge in this critical area.”

Chastain stated that she won’t need her brain after death and she hopes it can lead to a helpful discovery. She hopes that doctors can pinpoint areas of trauma and see if there are certain moves in a soccer game that should be avoided before the brain is completely developed.

Healthcare Plan Revealed By Donald Trump

Last Wednesday Donald Trump, Republican presidential hopeful, posted his healthcare plan to his website, as well as tweeting about his ideas for reform.

His plan has seven points, and is intended to replace Obamacare. Trump’s plan would remove the individual mandate that requires Americans to have insurance. Insurance will also be able to be sold across state lines as long as it fulfills requirements of the state one is living in.

Trump went on to say that he feels Obamacare is “terrible”-

 “However, it is not enough to simply repeal this terrible legislation. We will work with Congress to make sure we have a series of reforms ready for implementation that follow free market principles and that will restore economic freedom and certainty to everyone in this country. By following free market principles and working together to create sound public policy that will broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans.”

Trump claims that his reform will lower healthcare costs for Americans, he plans to allow pharmaceuticals to be imported from overseas to create competition for American drug companies.

Martin, an engineering student, had this to say about the current healthcare system, and how he feels about Trump removing the mandate;

“His healthcare plan is way better than obamacare, he’s opening the door to competitive healthcare options, without threatening fines to purchase said healthcare. Requiring full plan transparency will drastically reduce insurance plan costs. Offering the benefit of deducting premiums from your taxes would allow a lot more people in the lower middle class(me) to afford healthcare plans annually.”

Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Easter Break Commences for Congress Without a Solution to the Zika Outbreak

Health officials were disappointed last Wednesday, when Congress took their Easter break without voting for the aid asked for by the Obama Administration to help fight Zika.  The administration had asked for $1.9 billion dollars to aid affected areas like the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and parts of the south who are prepping for smaller scale outbreaks.

stock-photo-49201884-mosquito-sucking-bloodMSNBC reported that the republican members of congress don’t want to put any money towards Zika since there is still money left over from the Ebola. However, doctors from the CDC and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have stated that there are no remaining funds leftover from Ebola aid. Any funds that remained have been sent to West Africa in order to test out vaccinations.

Dr. Tom Frieden, who is the director at the Centers for Disease Control told MSNBC that it would be dangerous to ignore these new diseases. New cases are popping up frequently, he noted that a case of Lassa Fever was reported in Togo.

These diseases are unpredictable, scientist don’t know how or where the next disease will spread. It wasn’t predicted that Zika would cause birth defects since it was never widely studied in the west.

George, a nurse who will be traveling to Puerto Rico this summer to visit family and friends stated; “I am not overly concerned about Zika as a traveller, its seems like the only way to prevent it at this time is to use the proper repellents. However, I am concerned about family and friends living on the island.” As the media has recently pointed out George also noted that most Puerto Ricans don’t believe in putting screens on their windows, they feel as if it prevents the island breeze from flowing through their homes. Puerto Rico is no stranger to similar diseases, Zika is part of the same strain of disease that causes dengue and West Nile, but Zika seems more harmful since it may cause birth defects.

Can You Fight Spring Allergies With Diet Changes?

Eat This Not That, a website dedicated to healthy eating, suggested that certain foods can aggravate seasonal allergies, in a post published earlier this week. Runny noses and itchy eyes are a sign that spring is here for over 50 million Americans who suffer from seasonal allergies each year.

According to the American,-denmark.html College of Allergy Asthma and Immunology “Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S. with an annual cost in excess of $18 billion… In data published from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), 8.4 percent of US children under age 18 suffered from hay fever, 10% from respiratory allergies, 5.4% from food allergies, and 11.6% from skin allergies”.Eat This Not That stated that certain foods can help to reduce inflammation and soothe allergy symptoms. It is said that fennel is a natural decongestant that help help allergy sufferers when the pollen count is high. Eat This Not That suggested that allergy sufferers should distance themselves from spicy foods, since they create histamine in the body which is an inflammatory. When the body creates histamine your tissues swell causing congestion and itchy eyes. Vitamin C can also fight histamines, notes Eat This Not That. They suggest eating strawberries since the levels of vitamin C are actually higher than that of oranges. Oranges also contain proteins that may mimic some grass pollens.

For more allergy soothing diet tips, be sure to read “Eat This, Not That! To Fight Spring Allergies“.

One More Reason to Avoid Fast Food

A recent article published on CNN’s website suggested that phthalates can be found in your fast food orders. Phthalates are used as plasticizers in a variety of household products and can disrupt the hormones in your body. CNN journalist Carina Storrs reported that “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a report in 2013 stating that high levels of exposure to phthalates could lead to adverse reproductive outcomes in women. Research has linked these chemicals with increased risk of fibroids and endometriosis, which can cause infertility, and reduced IQ and behavioral problems in children exposed in the womb. High phthalate levels have also been linked with diabetes risk in women and adolescents.”

Diet is emerging as the most common way human absorb hormone disruptors, but this chemical can be found in other things such as soaps, nail polishes, and medications. Phthalates can be transferred to fast and processed food from plastic gloves, and conveyor belts. Studies have shown that meat and grain products hold the most phthalates, perhaps because of their fat content they absorb more, or they may absorb more based on the way they are processed.

DEHP, one of the most common phthalates, has already been banned in products like children’s toys, however the levels set by the EPA have not been changed since 1988.

Teens and E-Cigarettes

According to an article posted on Fox News| Health, teenage use of e-cigarettes is on the rise. In order to stay current many big tobacco companies are producing e-cigarettes, something that some people view stock-photo-87315095-clean-air-zoneas a “safer” alternative to traditional cigarettes. Fox News stated that this rise in e-cigarette use is largely due to online ads, “To see which e-cigarette ad formats were most persuasive to teens, researchers analyzed data from a recent nationwide survey of about 22,000 middle school and high school students from grades 6 through 12, when youth are typically about 12 to 18 years old.

When middle school kids said they routinely viewed e-cigarette ads online, they were almost three times more likely to use the devices than their peers who never saw ads. High schoolers who frequently watched online ads were about two times more likely to use e-cigarettes.”

After reading this article, Katherine a student at SUNY Old Westbury had this to say on the matter. “It’s so crazy to see that teenagers are being sold these e-cigarettes with the same techniques used to sell traditional tobacco, the same ads that we learned to stay away from in our middle school health classes. The same themes like sex and rebellion still sell these products, and sure it looks glamorous, or cool I guess… but really these can do as much harm as traditional cigarettes. I’ve also heard of cases where these e-cigarettes or electronic vaporizers blew up and caused a lot of harm to the user. It makes me worry, my younger brother is in middle school now, I know he’s got a good head on his shoulders but it worries me what advertising and peer pressure could bring”.

Fox News also noted that advertising in retail was more persuasive than print or tv media. To read more about the effect of media on e-cigarettes sales check out this article.